It doesn’t seem that long ago that Newcastle were conceding three goals in the last 30 minutes of the season against West Brom in May.
The game in February was a classic that will down as the greatest comeback by any club in Premier League history, when Newcastle came back form being four goals down after 26 minutes to draw the game at 4-4 0 just an amazing and heart stirring fight-back by the Magpies.
The was a game I will never forget, as my wife Madeline was even watching that last amazing 30 minutes of the game, and she never ever watches football – ever.
Of course we have to hope that the Newcastle defense will be in a lot better shape tomorrow evening.
And of course a big question mark is who will start at left-back for the departed Jose Enrique, and the news is that it will be forgotten man James Perch, if he passes a fitness test tomorrow.
As far a the goalkeeper goes, we think Tim Krul has done enough to be first choice to start this season, and it will be interesting to see whether it’s Fraser Forster or veteran Steve Harper who are on the bench.
The news is that Celtic have launched another £2M bid for Fraser, but that could just be paper talk.
News on Friday evening was that Joey Barton has patched things up with Alan Pardew, and is now due to start on the right wing, so we think this could be the team that starts tomorrow for Newcastle United:
Simpson Taylor (S) Coloccini (c) Perch
Barton Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
Subs: Harper Williamson Obertan Vuckic Marveaux Gosling Best
And after all the upheaval over the summer, that looks like a very decent starting eleven, and the bench is a lot stronger than it was last season.
Alan Pardew can bring on players like the impressive young Haris Vuckic, new boys Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan, Dan Gosling and Leon Best to change the game if necessary, and it could even be that Gosling starts somewhere in midfield tomorrow, as the 21 year-old has looked very good in pre-season.
Shane Ferguson and Danny Guthrie are still out injured, as is French International star Ben Arfa, so obviously they are not available for this game.
It’s a wonderful opportunity for the lads to lift the spirits of Newcastle fans everywhere, and a win would be fantastic, although Newcastle will enter this game as the under dogs.
The game is being televised live around the world, and as well as a sold-out St. James’ Park there will be a more than decent global television audience too.
Howay The Lads!!